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Pope opens Synod to discuss solution to secular tide

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
October 8th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Pope Benedict XVI spent Sunday opening a synod on the 50th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. The synod composed of 262 archbishops, bishops, and senior clergy listened to Benedict as he discussed the needs of the Church. 

VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - Perhaps the leading topic up for discussion is the rapid growth of secularism in Europe and elsewhere in the world. Europe has seen an explosion in the number of people who no longer identify with any faith whatsoever, and an increase in the number of self-declared atheists. 


The people behind the new secularism are also championing new discriminations against the Church and her faithful. To counter this, as well as to bring renewal to the whole Church, the Holy Father is calling for the next year to be the "Year of Faith" with a special emphasis placed on the New Evangelization. 

The New Evangelization within the church, is a renewed attempt to reach people with the gospel message of Christ, much like was done during the age of exploration, when the faith was spread around the globe by courageous missionaries. However, it also requires that the people "in the pews" have encountered the living Christ themselves. Thus, the effort is oriented toward Catholics as well. You cannot give to others what you do not have yourselves.

The New Evangelization then, represents a new call for courageous Christians, in love with the Lord and faithful to His Church, to step forward and become evangelizers in the spirit of the missionary clergy who have gone before. Of course, there is no need to seek people in the jungles, for there are now millions who live without the light of Christ, in every neighborhood on Earth, due to the growing influences of secularism. 

According to Benedict, the family must be at the center of this new evangelization. Beginning with the sacrament of marriage, understood as only possible between one man and one woman, the holy couple in communion with Christ must first witness to one another and their family, the love of Christ. In so doing, souls will be won back to the Church. 

From this, the family becomes a beacon which draws in others who witness their evangelization. 

This is perhaps, the best approach to the rising tide of secularism. Secularism is cold and indifferent, and is founded on postmodern philosophy that holds all worldviews to be equal - unless they happen to be worldviews consistent with Christianity; those views seem to be held in inferior respect. 

If secularism is the poison, then the New Evangelization, with its emphasis on loving witness, is the antidote. 

Regardless of the best efforts of those in the modern secularism movement, they will sadly remain frustrated for the Church remains protected by the promises of Christ, who solemnly told St. Peter "the Gates of Hell will not prevail against it."

Historically, the Church has faced many persecutions and has witnessed times of growth and recession in membership. These are old challenges dressed in modern trappings, but the solutions always remain the same - to continue spreading the gospel of Christ and to remain a voice of reason and goodwill in a dark world. 

As the three-week Synod continues at the Vatican, the faithful can expect good news and good plans to come from the assembly there.


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